When I stepped into the forest, I noticed two things almost immediately. The first was that although the trees were actually of reasonable size, they were extremely dense shadowing the forest in perpetual twilight. The was the extreme silence in this forest. There were no noises that you would expect to hear in a typical forest, in fact, even the wind was silent as if not daring to disturb the quiet of the woods.
This eerie atmosphere affected me without my knowledge but causing me to continually look around expecting something to After I had walked for a couple of miles and nothing had happened, I started to my guard. Eventually, I noticed the forest began to subtly change.
The leaves seemed to lose their color, and all the were slightly withered as if there was some sort of disease spreading throughout the forest. As I got further and further inside, the signs of this disease grew more and more apparent with the air seemingly tasting of death. Also, a strange mist started to rise from the air twisting in odd shapes like phantoms stretching out trying to escape the forest.
As I walked into the fog, it swirled around me blocking my As I walked into the mist, slowly sounds started to enter my ears. As if the trees were whispering to each other. I kept walking snapping my head in every as a new whisper fell into my ears. Suddenly, I noticed the ground started to slope downwards and the whispers stopped as if holding their breath as I walked down the slope.
When it eventually out, I noticed a stone cottage which the mist avoided as if pushed away by an invisible wall. Looking at it with my elemental , I noticed that the elements danced around the cottage in an intricate pattern with what purpose I couldn't hope to fathom. Before I could reach the cabin, the door opened, and a young man walked out. He was wearing a long coat that draped neatly to the ground and had an overly large sword strapped to his back. He turned to look at me saying,
"It seems I did sense someone. I wonder what you are doing in this forest. Not many people enter here anymore."
Feeling danger from him, I quickly answered his with,
"I'm just passing through to the desert on the other side."
He gave me a look like he understood something and said with a light chuckle,
"A treasure hunter then, though most go around this forest instead of through. I never understood why when it's so much less dangerous in this forest. I make sure of it."
As he said this last line, he licked his lips, and his eyes gained a look like that of a crazed beast. A later, his snapped back to his usual smiling but I was even more convinced he was dangerous now. Figuring my chances would be better if I kept talking I said,
"I didn't even know this forest was considered dangerous. I'm just following the route my master gave me."
As I said this, I showed him my map with the marked route. Upon seeing the map, it seemed like a light of flickered in his eyes as he looked at the map and he said in an excited tone,
"So, you're his new apprentice. No wonder he sent you through this forest. Well since that's the case, come with me."
He then turned around and walked back into the cabin. I just stood there debating whether or not to follow him. Finally, I decided it was better to follow him since I might miss out on an excellent opportunity. And since he knew my master, I doubt he'd want to anger him by killing me. As I got closer to the cabin, it felt as if gravity seemed to increase.
At first, it didn't look like a big deal, and I was able to continue at a reasonable pace, but as I got closer, my steps grew slower and slower to the point when there was just about ten feet to the cabin. I to my knees, no longer being able to support myself on just my feet. I was determined to make it.
I kept crawling, making it to within one foot of the door where I but even to the ground I kept inching forward. I touched the door barely able to breathe. The weight was so great. I pushed the door open, and all the extra weight disappeared. I practically bounced to my feet with nothing restraining me and found myself face to face with the man whose name I still did not know. He said,
"Well, you finally made it took your time though. I don't know whether to be impressed by your or disappointed by your weakness. Quickly, tell me your element so we can work on your weapon."
Once again I was caught off guard by the sudden shift in topic. I replied by saying,
"My element is lightening but what do you mean by working on my weapon?"
Seeing my , he started laughing when he finished he said,
"It seems your master likes keeping you in the dark. I'm the one who made his hammer, and since he sent you through this forest, I can only assume he wants me to make you a weapon as well. Whether or not I make you one will all depend on you."
As soon as we stepped through the door, you could see what looked like a standard cabin. We were, at least it appeared to be, teleported to the top of an arena. It was essentially just a sandpit with a stone wall surrounding it. Noticing my shock, he smiled saying,
"I can see you have much to narrow a view of what the elements can do. It's too early to learn about these sorts of things anyway. All you need to know right now is that if you want me to make you a weapon, jump into the arena and use whatever I throw you to fight."
I looked at him as if he were crazy. Realizing I wasn't moving, he teleported to my side and shoved me into the pit. I stumbled and almost fell into the sand before managing to get my Looking at him angrily he laughed saying,
"Don't look so mad, not only will this help me design your weapon; it will also help you learn how to fight. Since you have no , let's start."
As soon as he said this, he threw me something. When I caught it, I realized it was a wooden sword that had the same strange runes on it that I had seen many times before. The instant I caught the weapon, a door from under the sand burst open and a tiger covered in bright red fur jumped out as he took each breath the sand in front of him turned cherry red.
I decided to make the first move for once. I swung down at him expecting to feel a solid thump. I felt nothing as he dodged to the side at speed I could barely follow. Realizing I was going to need to go all out to fight this tiger, I myself in lightening before swinging again only to have it dodge once more even with me moving at double my normal speed.
Getting frustrated, I started swinging wildly hoping to hit it at least once. Eventually, my wild movements threw up so much sand I couldn't see anything, and I stopped moving to wait for the sand to settle down. Suddenly, the tiger lunged out of the falling sand pinning me to the ground. I lay there slowly getting crushed by this oversized cat, I heard the man who was responsible for the whole shout out with some laughter underlying each word,
"It seems like this first test would indicate you both don't have any idea how to fight and you definitely will not be using a sword. Try this instead maybe it will be a little better."